Strategies to Improve Male Involvement in PMTCT Option B+ in Four African Countries: A Qualitative Rapid Appraisal

January 2017 - Structural Prevention

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Besada, D. Rohde, S., Goga, A., et al. Global Health Action (November 2016), 7(9): 33507, e-publication ahead of print. doi:10.3402/gha.v9.33507.

This article presented findings from a rapid appraisal of strategies to increase male partner involvement in services for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) and reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health services in Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, and Uganda in the context of scale-up of the Option B+ protocol. A mixed-skill team of 34 researchers conducted desk reviews and in-country field work; and held key informant interviews and focus group discussions with stakeholders including government, implementing partners, and district-, facility-, and community-based health workers. The authors grouped their findings into community and facility-based strategies. Common community-based strategies for increasing men's participation included community mobilization and sensitization, such as engaging community leaders and involving community health workers. Common facility-based strategies focused on integrating male-friendly services within the maternal/child health setting, such as offering incentives for participation and offering couple and family-centered services. The authors noted that all strategies must be tailored to the local context, and pointed out that unintended negative consequences can occur, and need to be addressed in program design. They suggested that developing national policies around male partner involvement could help streamline approaches across implementing partners and achieve scale-up. They also urged further exploration of how specific strategies affect male engagement.

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